THE RELIGIOUS LIFE OF THE ANCIENT JEW AS PRESENTED IN THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS
The Offerings And The Feasts Part 5
The Peace Offering Leviticus 3
This study concerns the peace offering, which teaches fellowship with the Lord. This is the last of the sacrifices, which were presented twice daily. Each of these rituals offered in the daily sacrifice teach us vital lessons about Christian living. Our life as believers commenced with faith in Christ, as typified in the burnt offering, then we proceeded to follow after the Lord, as represented by the meat offering, and as a result we can have fellowship with Him. What makes this sacrifice unique is that every party could eat of the sacrifice; the offerer, the priest, God and the priest’s children. Therefore in the sacrifice we view man fellowshipping with God in Christ. Interwoven through each aspect of the peace offering we see Christ as the one in whom we enjoy the presence of God.
1: The Offering v3,4
The whole of the animal was not offered, only the fat, the kidneys, the fat (caul) surrounding the kidneys and the liver. These represent the part of the animal, which are rich and embedded close to the heart. In the scriptures the reins or the kidneys speak of our innermost desires (Ps 7:9, 16:7). The fat represents the very best which could be offered (Ps 36:8, Ps 63:5). Christ gave not just his body but sold his innermost being for the redemption of mankind (Isaiah 53:10). This was manifested in the blood and water, which poured from his pierced side. It is through the unparalleled sacrifice of our Lord that we can enjoy fellowship with God. This surely is a reason why we should give Christ our whole being.
2: The Offerer v11
The man who brought the offering is also a picture of Christ, not as our mediator but as man. When the Lord died he suffered as man for the sins of men. We are identified and represented in Christ. We were offered with him on the cross. The key point, however, is this. The offerer ate of the remnant of the peace offering and was satisfied by it, (v11, 7:31-32). Christ is satisfied by his offering for the sins of men (Isaiah 53:11). Therefore our fellowship with God is based upon the satisfaction we derive from Calvary. As the altar is called “table of the Lord” (Mal 1;7) we ought to long to get to the New Testament table to meet with God.
2: God v5
God was delighted with the sacrifice therefore it was a “sweet savour”. The Father is satisfied with what his son has accomplished (Isaiah 53:10).
3: The Priest 7:30-31
The priest who presented the sacrifice was satisfied with the meal he received from the altar. In the priest we view not Christ as man but as the God-Man. As the man Jesus He submitted his body to the cross but as our High Priest he offered his body as a sacrifice for sins (Heb 9:14). For eternity Christ feeds off His work as mediator in “bringing many sons to glory” and in constantly making intercession for us. Our fellowship with God is possible only through the access we enjoy in Him.
4: The Priest’s Children 7:32-34
The High Priest did not derive benefit from this sacrifice alone but his children were entitled to enjoy it as well. The family of the priest represent Christians who are entitled to personally feed off the merits of the atonement constantly. In doing so we fellowship with God at his table by enjoying what he enjoys.
5: The Occasions For Thanksgiving 7:11-22
We fellowship with God by taking time to exercise gratitude. When Making a Vow We fellowship with the Lord by surrendering ourselves to Him in totality.
6: The Impediments 7:20-21
Due to sin certain members of the priest’s family were not entitled to feed from the altar. If we sin wilfully and do not repent before God and man we will not enjoy fellowship with God. In Corinth believers were sick and some were dead because they dared to partake of the Lord’s Table with dirty hands (1 Cor 11:28-30). Abraham lost fellowship with God for 13 years because of his sin (Gen 16:1617:1). When David lost out with God he realised that the way back was a broken heart, which would become a clean heart (Psalm 51).